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2012 Audi A8 Hybrid priced from 77,700 Euro

2012 Audi A8

The Ingolstadt-based automaker Audi has revealed this week the price list for the Euro-spec A8 Hybrid which is going to be sold on this continent in two versions: standard and long-wheel base. The regular version measures 16.86 ft. (5.14 meters) in length while the LWB is 5.12 inches (13 cm) longer. Under the hood of both models is a 2.0-liter TFSI engine that works together with an electric motor.

2012 Audi A8

The total output of the 2012 Audi A8 Hybrid is 245 hp (180 kW) and 354 lb.-ft (480 Nm) of torque. The traditional combustion engine develops 211 hp (155 kW) and 258 lb.-ft (350 Nm) of the entire horsepower . With this configuration, the car is capable of doing the 0-62 mph sprint in only 7.7 seconds, on its way to a respectable top speed of 146 mph (235 km/h).

2012 Audi A8

On the combined cycle, Audi rates the A8 Hybrid at 37.34 US mpg (6.3 liters/ 100 km) while CO2 emissions stand at 147 g/km or 236.57 g/mile. The standard version of the A8 Hybrid will cost from 77,700 Euro while the LWB version has a base price of 85,400 Euro.

Source: Audi via ZerCustoms

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Geneva Preview – Toyota Yaris Hybrid

Toyota Yaris Hybrid

One of the many eco-friendly cars that we’ll see next month at the Geneva Motor Show is the Toyota Yaris Hybrid. The car will feature a 1.5-liter gasoline engine which will be 10% smaller and also 16.5 kg lighter than the 1.8-liter engine found in the Prius and the Auris models. Combined with the electric motor, the car will be able to provide a decent 99 hp.

Also reduced in size will be the electric driveline components, including here the motor itself, the transaxle and the Power Control Unit. All of these parts will be lighter, while the nickel-metal hydride battery has been installed by Toyota’s engineers under the rear seat which means that you get the same boot space as the conventional-powered Yaris.

When it will come out, the new Toyota Yaris Hybrid will be able to return 80 mpg UK which is going to make it more efficient than both the Auris (74 mpg UK) and the Prius (72 mpg UK) hybrids. No word at the moment about the CO2 emissions, but taking into consideration that the Prius and the Auris have 89 g/km CO2 emissions, the Yaris Hybrid should be able to hit the 85 g/km mark. One of its main competitors, the Honda Jazz Hybrid, is capable of returning only 62.8 mpg and has CO2 emissions of 104 g/km.

After its debut in March at the Geneva show, the Toyota Yaris Hybrid will be arriving in dealerships where it should be priced at somewhere around 15,000 pounds, making it approximately 1,000 pounds more affordable than the aforementioned Honda Jazz Hybrid.

Source: Toyota

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Honda has sold 800,000 hybrids so far

Honda Insight

The Japanese automaker Honda has announced the other day that since they introduced the Insight back in 1999, they’ve managed to sell more than 800,000 hybrids so far. This milestone was achieved in December last year and it was achieved 12 years and 2 months after the Insight hit Japan in November 1999. This performance is not as impressive as Toyota’s one million Priuses sold back in April 2011 in the U.S.

Anyway, the first generation of the Honda Insight managed to return 82.3 mpg (35km/liter or 2.9 liters / 100 km) on the Japanese driving cycle, which for those days made it the fuel efficient gasoline-powered vehicle.

Over the years, Honda introduced new models to its hybrid lineup, like the Civic Hybrid and the Accord Hybrid. Both these models come with the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system. Honda has also introduced the CR-Z sports hatch and a new Insight hatchback. At the moment, the automaker offers seven hybrids. The company’s plans are to introduce the very first Acura hybrid in the United States, a model that is based on the ILX compact sedan.

Source: Honda

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2012 Detroit Motor Show – VW Jetta Hybrid

Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid

The German automaker Volkswagen has introduced this year at the Detroit Motor Show the hybrid version of the Jetta model which will be capable of returning 45 mpg (54 mpg UK or 5.2 liters / 100 km). It will be able to do the 0-62 mph sprint in less than 9 seconds which is fairly decent for a hybrid vehicle.

Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid

Speaking of the hybrid powertrain, it includes a 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline power unit that generates 150 hp and a peak torque of 184 lb.-ft., along with the 27 hp (20 kW) electric motor and a 1.1 kWh battery which has been installed behind the rear bench. The combined output of the Jetta Hybrid is a respectable 170 PS and it is sent to the wheels in the front via the dual-clutch 7-speed DSG transmission.

Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid

The car will come with a parallel hybrid system just like the one on the Touareg Hybrid which uses a decoupling clutch that is able to disengage both the gasoline engine for pure electric mode drive or when braking or coasting and the electric motor for when driving with higher speeds or when the battery level is low. In addition, it can also combine the two units for providing maximum output whenever necessary.

Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid

Running the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid on electric mode can be done over a distance of 1.3 miles (2 km) and it can be driven at speeds of up to 44 mph (70 km/h). The German carmaker said that the hybrid  weighs 220 pounds (100 kg)  more in comparison to the standard variant of the car, weighing a total of less than 3,307 lbs. (1,500 kg).

Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid

Aside from the mechanical changes that come with a hybrid model, this one adopts a bunch of aerodynamic improvements like the new design of the front spoiler, rear spoiler and the rear diffuser which can all improve the Jetta’s Cd value by 10% in comparison with the traditional-powered model. Aside from these changes, the Jetta Hybrid adopts new headlamps that have LED daytime running lights, along with LED tail lamps and unique 15-inch alloys wrapped around in low-rolling tires.

Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid

The Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid features a newly designed exhaust system as well as thicker front side windows and an acoustic windscreen in order to make the interior cabin quieter. The instrument panel now has a new design which includes a new screen along with a “power meter” plus a multifunction display located on the left side.

The car is scheduled to go on sale this November in the United States and Canada. We don’t know if Volkswagen will introduce the car to other markets.

Source: Volkswagen

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2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid priced from $26,610

2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid


The Korean carmaker Hyundai revealed a few days ago the pricing list for the 2012 Sonata Hybrid and it will have a base price of $26,610, including the $760 destination fee, which means that it is going to be $55 more expensive than the 2011MY. There are no mechanical or cosmetic modifications for the new model but it does come with the company’s Blue Link telematics system in standard configuration.

2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid


Clients are now able to order the car with an optional leather package that brings leather seating surfaces, shift knob and steering wheel, along with auto-dimming rear view mirror, heated front + rear seats, features which Hyundai says that up until now were available only on the higher trim level.

2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid


The 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is motivated by a hybrid powertrain consisting of a 2.4-liter Atkinson-cycle engine that produces 169 hp which is linked to a six-speed automatic gearbox, along with a 30 kW electric motor and a lithium polymer battery pack.

2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid


The car has an estimated EPA rating of 40 mpg (5.9 liters / 100 km) on the highway, 35 mpg (6.7 liters / 100 km) in the city, and 37 mpg (6.4 liters / 100 km) in the combined cycle.

Source: Hyundai via Carscoop

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2012 Toyota Prius priced from $24,000

2012 Toyota Prius

Revealed earlier this year at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the 2012 Toyota Prius is going to have a starting price of $24,000 which means that it will be more expensive than last year’s model which came at base price of $23,520. The new model brings a revised front fascia, a new look for the tail lamps, new 15-inch alloys and LED daytime running lights.

2012 Toyota Prius

The car will be available in five different trim levels but the cheapest version, the Prius One, will be available exclusively for fleet buyers. The Prius Two features a 6.1-inch touchscreen audio system with iPod and USB connectivity, and it also comes with Bluetooth handsfree. According to the Japanese automaker, this new multi-information display is going to be “more advanced” in comparison to the one found in previous models, thus giving drivers an easier access to info about the vehicle.

2012 Toyota Prius

The 2012 Prius Three is going to be 4.3% more expensive than last year’s model, which means that it will set you back $25,565. With the higher price tag come additional goodies like satellite navigation, a rear-view backup camera, along with a new audio system that includes the company’s Entune, which is a multimedia system that has a bunch of applications that are capable of connecting to various Internet services like Pandora or Bing via a compatible smartphone.

The top-spec Prius Five costs $29,805 and is offered with a 7-inch touchscreen navigation system that offers split-screen support. This version of the Prius comes with 8-way power adjustable drivers’ seat with power lumbar support, along with automatic on/off headlights.

2012 Toyota Prius

A novelty for the U.S.-spec Prius is the optional head-up display that has been available in Europe since the 2010 model. This HUD system is already available on some Lexus models and it helps minimize the distraction of the driver by projecting useful info like speed, hybrid and navigation data, onto the windshield. This system is an optional feature only for the Prius Four and Five versions of the popular hybrid.

Source: Toyota via Green Car Reports

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Toyota Returns To Le Mans With A Hybrid

Toyota LMP1 Le Mans Prototype (Rendering)

The Japanese car manufacturer Toyota has decided to return to Le Mans next year where they will compete with Peugeot and Audi with their new gasoline-hybrid vehicle. The all-new LMP1 car is being developed by Toyota Motorsport while the powertrain is the responsibility of the Toyota Motor Corporation.

If you didn’t know, Toyota is already experimenting with alternatively-powered racing technology and back in August they’ve established a new lap record for an EV on the Nurburgring Nordschleife by using a modified Radical that had two electric motors.

The automaker never managed to win the prestigious and demanding Le Mans race but they did had some interesting cars, like the late 1990s Toyota GT-One prototype.

Source: Toyota via Autocar

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2012 Infiniti M35h Becomes Fastest Full Hybrid In The World

2012 Infiniti M35h

The Japanese car manufacturer Infiniti has become popular for rolling out cars that offer luxury and performance. With the introduction of the M35h model in Europe, the company decided to not focus on the car’s fuel economy or the list of available goodies. Instead, they’ve invited the guys from the Guinness World Records to UK’s Santa Pod Raceway where the gorgeous sedan was officially certified as being the “world’s fastest accelerating full hybrid” in the entire world.

2012 Infiniti M35h

They took a regular, production-line version and tested it without making any sort of modifications, achieving an average run of 13.9 seconds @ over 100 mph. The car is motivated by a V6 engine that develops 292 hp and an electric motor that has an additional 67 hp, all for a grand total of 359 hp. These figures are available for the European-spec model while the North American version offers “only” 350 hp.

2012 Infiniti M35h

Anyway, the car needed 5.5 seconds in order to do the 0-62 mph sprint, which makes it a little bit faster than the now-defunct BMW ActiveHybrid X6 that does the 0-60 mph sprint in the same amount of time. Let’s not forget that we are talking about a frugal car so we have to mention that it can return 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway, according to EPA. In addition, the 2012 Infiniti M35h can be driven in electric mode at speeds of up to 75 mph.

Source: Infiniti via Green Car Reports

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Frankfurt Motor Show – Peugeot HX1

Peugeot HX1

From Peugeot’s stand at the Frankfurt Motor Show we find the exquisite HX1 concept, they’re vision of an MPV for the year 2020. It is a plug-in diesel-electric, low-slung hybrid that features the most recent version of the company’s AWD diesel-electric drivetrain dubbed Hybrid4.

Peugeot HX1

The front wheels of the HX1 are powered by the 2.2-liter HDi engine that fires 204 hp and is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The rear wheels are motivated by a 95 hp electric motor that is fed by a pack of lithium-ion batteries with plug-in capability, unseen up until now on a Peugeot model.

Peugeot HX1

Driving the car only in electric mode can be done for up to 18.6 miles, while the mpg UK figure is 88.2 in the combined cycle. The CO2 emissions stand at only 83 g/km, in comparison to the automaker’s most frugal model in the current lineup, the 5008 that returns 134 g/km from its 112 hp 1.6 HDI engine.

Peugeot HX1

The car measures 4954 mm long, 1990 mm wide and is 1373 mm high, making it 424 mm longer, 153 mm wider and 265 mm lower than the aforementioned 5008, which is a 7-seat car. As you can see, the car benefits from the new front treatment adopted by Peugeot, which is considerably more attractive than what we’ve seen in the company’s models in the last few years. It rides on a set of alloys that have a seven-spoke design and can change their shape in order to improve aero efficiency. At a speed of above 62.1 mph, the HX1’s side skirts and the rear spoiler are deployed.

Peugeot HX1

One of the best things about this car would have to be those exciting half-scissor doors that open upwards and outwards, revealing a superb interior that has a lot of brushed metal, oak, along with a nice leather trim. The reclining rear seats of this futuristic MPV feature a coffee machine and a mini bar which are mounted between them. The car can accommodate a neat center row consisting of two seats which folds out from the back of the HX1’s front seats.

Source: Peugeot via Autocar

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Mercedes-Benz Concept B-Class E-CELL PLUS Goes Official

Mercedes-Benz Concept B-Class E-CELL PLUS

One of the most interesting cars in my opinion revealed this week at the Frankfurt Motor Show is the Mercedes-Benz Concept B-Class E-CELL PLUS. A very long name for a promising plug-in hybrid that has a 134 hp (136 PS / 100 kW) electric motor that can provide a continuous output of 94 hp (95 PS / 70 kW).

Mercedes-Benz Concept B-Class E-CELL PLUS

The on-board power unit is a gasoline engine that develops 67 hp (68 PS / 50 kW) that can fill up the battery at low speeds but it also can kick in at high speeds for driving the wheels in the front along with the electric motor. It has a brand new gearbox which has been developed by the company especially for this model.

Mercedes-Benz Concept B-Class E-CELL PLUS

It has CO2 emissions of only 32 g/km in combined driving and it can offer a driving range of up to 373 miles (600 km). In electric mode, the Mercedes-Benz Concept B-Class E-CELL PLUS concept can be driven for about 62 miles (100 km).

Mercedes-Benz Concept B-Class E-CELL PLUS

No word about a possible production version, but we’ll certainly keep you posted if MB changes its mind. Stay tuned for additional details.

Source: Mercedes-Benz

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Russian Yo Hybrid Car Pre-Ordered By 100,000 Customers

If we were to believe Mikhail Prokhorov, a Russian billionaire businessman, the Yo natural-gas hybrid turns out to be a very popular car as the company has received orders stretching out as far as 10 years into the future. He told Russia Today, a satellite TV channel, that the company has received more than 100,000 orders.

Back in October 2010, Prokhorov, who is also the owner of the popular New York Nets basketball team, revealed that he was founding the firm by investing $200 million in order to create and manufacture a Russian-designed vehicle in mother Russia. Two months later, in December, more details about the car surfaced the Internet, revealing a hybrid configuration that features a rotary-vane engine that powers a generator that flows current to a pair of small-sized electric traction motors.

During high power demand, the extra current available is then fed from a bank of capacitors that are capable of discharging at high voltage. The curb weight of the Yo subcompact is expected to be around the 1,500 pounds mark and the 0-62 mph sprint time is done between 8 and 14 seconds while top speed is somewhere around 75 mph.

As far as the gas mileage is concerned, the Russia hybrid is expected to return more than 60 mpg when running on gasoline. In addition, it will also be capable of running on LPG (liquefied petroleum gas). The range of the car (on both fuel systems) is estimated to be somewhere around 680 miles.

The founder of the company plans on putting the car on sale sometime in July-December 2012 with a price tag of $12,000 – $15,000 (350,000 – 450,000 rubles). The estimated annual production for the Yo will be around 45,000 units during the first year and if everything goes according to the plan, an expansion of the plant is being considered in the near vicinity of St. Petersburg which will double the production figures.

Source: GreenCarReports

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Popemobile Goes Hybrid

1930 Mercedes-Benz Nurburg 460 Pullman

No wonder that Pope Bendict XVI is also known as the “green pope” for his support of eco-friendly causes. He will get the very first green popemobile in the form of a hybrid Mercedes-Benz M-Class. If we were to believe Wirtschaftswoche, a German business paper, the hybrid crossover will feature lithium-ion batteries and will have an electric driving range of up to 20 miles.

In 2010, Benedict had his thoughts on getting a pure-electric solar-powered Popemobile, but his closest advisors said that a hybrid would be more suitable, mostly because it would eliminate potentially threatening situations.

The car will be delivered towards the end of this year or even in early 2012 and will join six or seven Mercedes-Benz heavily armored vehicles, including a modified S-Class model and two customized Gelandewagens.

Mercedes-Benz has been supplying Popemobiles to the Vatican for more than 8 decades. The very first one was delivered to Pope Pius XI and was a Nurburg 460 Pullman limousine from 1930. The current fleet includes a M430 that was delivered in 2002 for John Paul II, the previous pontiff, along with a G500 cabriolet from 2007 and a G500 hardtop from 2008. These two last models are wearing a Vatican Mystic White livery.

Source: Inside Line

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Range Rover Hybrid In The Works

2012 Land Rover Range Rover Prototype

It seems that the British automaker Land Rover is working on a hybrid version of its Range Rover model. In an interview given to Inside Line, the company’s Global Brand Director, John Edwards, said that Land Rover will implement a top-down hybrid strategy that will focus on bigger models “where the greatest consumption gains are to be made.”
(more…)

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Due To Popular Demand, Volt Market Will Be Expanded In 2011

It seems that Chevrolet has plans of introducing their Volt model in all 50 states by the end of this year. The U.S. president of Chevrolet Marketing, Rick Scheidt said that “this is the right thing to do for our customers and our dealers who are seeing increased traffic onto their showroom floors.”

Up until now, the Volt has been delivered to clients living in the Washington D.C. area, New York, Texas, New Jersey, California and Connecticut. Pretty soon, Chevrolet will start shipping the car in Michigan. Starting with the third quarter of this year, the Volt will be available to the citizens living in: Oregon, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

As we previously mentioned in earlier posts, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt comes with a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery and an electric motor that outputs 149 hp (151 PS / 111 kW) and 273 lb-ft (368 Nm) of torque. These figures allow the car to reach 60 mph in less than 9 seconds, onto a top speed of 100 mph.

The Volt is capable of running on electric mode for 35 miles and with the conventional 1.4-liter petrol engine it can do 344 miles.

Recently, General Motors withdrew their loan application from the United States Department of Energy. The $14.4 billion would have been used by the automaker to start making more fuel efficient cars, but GM said that finances have improved last year and they won’t need that loan after all.

Here are some of the most important awards won by the Volt:

a)      2011 North American Car of the Year;

b)      Motor Trend 2011 Car of the Year;

c)      Green Car Journal 2011 Green Car of the Year;

d)      Car and Driver 10 Best for 2011;

e)      Ward’s AutoWorld 10 Best Engines for 2011;

f)       AUTOMOBILE Magazine 2011 Automobile of the Year;

g)     2010 Breakthrough Technology, by Popular Mechanics.

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Volvo V60 Hybrid Announced

Volvo V60 Hybrid

The Swedish automaker Volvo announced this week that it will be unveiling the hybrid version of the curvy V60 station wagon model this year in March at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show. The Volvo S60 Hybrid will feature a 5-cylinder 2.4-liter D5 turbo diesel power unit for the front axle and an electric motor in the back.

The engine will output 215 hp and 440 Nm of torque while the ERAD – Electric Rear Axle Drive will churn an addition number of 70 ponies. The V60 Hybrid will receive the necessary electricity from the 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The engine will be linked to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

This hybrid model from Volvo will be able to have a 150 mpg fuel consumption level and will do 50 g/km of CO2 emissions. The Swedish officials over at Volvo said that the car will be able to offer a 32 miles range when running only on electricity.

We will have more information about the Volvo V60 Hybrid after its official debut on March 1st at Geneva Auto Show where the Swedish automaker will offer all the relevant details about this hybrid station wagon that combines practicality with efficiency making it a very interesting model for a certain target of car buyers.

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